Economic benefits of African free trade areas: Empirical evidence from live animal and products trade in the COMESA region


  • Binyam Kassa ET ALIM Trading PLC, P. O. Box 29125, Addis Abeba, Ethiopia



International trade, economic growth, COMESA, FTA, livestock commodities


This study was conducted to assess the impact of live animal and animal products international trade on economic growth and to describe the association between membership to Free Trade Area of COMESA and live animal and products trade in member nations. A secondary panel data from 11 COMESA member states of which two are non-FTA members was used to model the economic growth impact of livestock production, live animal export and animal products import and export, data ranging between 1991 and 2018. FGLS was deployed to correct data problems and model the impact of independent variables on GDP, with overall R2=0.8389. Among the explanatory variables livestock production, live animal import, animal product import and export were significant at 99% confidence interval. Correlation results showed that there is positive correlation between FTA membership and economic growth as well as live animal and products trade. It was concluded that livestock commodities trade has positive impact on economic growth and the FTA membership improves trade in livestock commodities in COMESA region. Further research is recommended on the export destinations and commodities to fill the knowledge gap in livestock intra-regional and non PTA trade.